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Chicks roosting

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just wondering at what age chicks completely switch over from nesting to roosting? I have had roosts in my brooder for them since approx. 1.5 weeks old. They started exploring them right away and many will roost throughout the day, keeping them occupied constantly. However, when they settle down for the night, they bunch together and nest. They are 4 weeks old now.
post #2 of 20

If left on their own, chicks will prefer to huddle together for a while after moving into the brooder. They will see the older chickens, if you have them, and they will learn from them. Chicks have an instinct to roost on any high horizontal space, such as braces between studs, until they no longer fit, then they'll consent to roost on the perches.


I teach my youngsters to roost a few days after they move into the coop. (Five weeks) I place them on the perch and keep putting them back up when they hop down. It helps to squeeze them all together so they're all touching, giving them the benefit of huddling, but they're all in a row, instead. I place the most timid one against the wall, and the bravest one gets the last spot on the perch on the opposite end from the wall.


In the span of just a couple or three nights, they're roosting on their own.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
That is good to know, thanks! I kept thinking back to the last time we had chicks, and I know they kept nesting for quite a long time. Although, I think part of that was because the hens didn't like them, the hen house was small, and 2 nest boxes were the same height as the roosts. Hopefully these new ones will adapt much better.
Edited by NysiaAnera - 3/30/16 at 8:53pm
post #4 of 20
I have a galvanized dog crate for a brooder. I put two piece of wood in the corners wedged at a good height for them to jump on. They are already relaxing on the mini roost polls. I think it helps a lot to start early. Also when in the coop, block off nesting boxes for the first few weeks they are in the coop so they don't nest there. I will have to put curtains up when I intro my chicks to the flock
post #5 of 20
post #6 of 20
post #7 of 20

I also think it helps to have the roost poles because it gives them practice to jump high. These two chicks jump on my hands now when I open the brooder which I think is pretty cool for them but I think it'll give them practice when I get in the coop to go on the roostf bars
post #8 of 20

I moved mine to the coop at six weeks and after a few nights when I removed the heat lamp they instantly slept on the roosts. I think they followed the heat lamp but the minute the incentive was removed they did what was natural. I never trained them or anything.

post #9 of 20
post #10 of 20
Unfortunately my roost bars aren't that much higher than the nest boxes in think that's why it helped with my chickens if they are higher it's not really much of a problem
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